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A Talented Friend: Jackie White
by Jackie K. Cooper

Iím always amazed that people I consider to be close friends are super talented writers, actors, etc. Blake Clark, who plays Drew Barrymore's father in "50 First Dates," is a friend of mine. I have known him since his early acting days in Macon, Georgia. I also consider Bobbie Eakes of "All My Children" fame to be a personal friend. I have known her since she was in high school. And one of my closest friends is Jackie White, who wrote WHISPER TO THE BLACK CANDLE and THE EMPTY NURSERY.

Jackie is one of the best writers around, and her popularity proves it. WHISPER is a true story about a murderess, while EMPTY is about a real life abduction. Both of these books read like fiction although they are true crime stories. It takes genuine talent to pull that off.

Now Jackie has a new book out, DISTANT HEARTS, her first work of fiction. The book is published by Mercer University press and can be purchased from their website, MUPRESS.ORG, or at any bookstore.

The fun and charm of this novel is that it operates on two levels. There is the main story that concerns a woman named Jill Barnes. She is working on her thesis and learns there are some research papers available on a nineteenth century statesman that will be relevant to her subject. She goes to a small town in middle Georgia to study them.

While reading the papers she also discovers a diary written by a young woman who lived during Civil War times. That is where the second level kicks in. Jill becomes fascinated with the story the young woman tells, and discovers that much of what that woman went through is happening to her. The adage, "the roots of the present lie deep in the past," has never been more true.

In the past and the present, fascinating characters abound, and Jackie makes them live and breathe in our imaginations. These people present some excitement, some romance, some humor, and a lot of heart and hope. Jill leaves the town of Langston, Georgia a changed person and those changes have been brought about by her exposure to persons in the two time frames.

Jackie White is able to brilliantly balance two concurrent stories, one in the past and one in the present. These tales compliment each other, impact each other, and enhance each other. That, my friends, is complicated storytelling done with a master's touch.

I think you will enjoy reading DISTANT HEARTS. I know I did. It is hard for me to comprehend that a story so intricate and so well developed just sprang from the mind of my good friend. Jackie is a person I talk with on the phone a couple of days a week; a person I have lunch with often; a person who is just as ordinary as I am. But the difference is that she has extraordinary talent.

We all have talents of some kind. My friend Jackie has the gift of creating fascinating stories, and in that respect I stand in awe of her. We don't expect our friends to be celebrities, but sometimes they are. The nice thing is they are the same as us -- and more.


Jackie K. Cooper was born in South Carolina and now lives in Georgia. He is the married father of two sons and the proud grandparent of a boy and a girl.

He is familiar to people living in the middle Georgia area as the "entertainment man" since his entertainment reviews run in newspapers and are shown on television there. His short stories have also been used as commentary on Georgia Public Radio.

Cooper has lived an exceptionally interesting life. Portions of it were contained in his first book JOURNEY OF A GENTLE SOUTHERN MAN. Now the journey continues in his second book titled CHANCES AND CHOICES.

Write Jackie Cooper at this e-mail address
and be sure to visit his excellent web site: jackiekcooper.com.

Read more of Cooperís articles at USADEEPSOUTH:
Alzheimerís: You Might As Well Laugh
Jackie White
Online Dating
Finding Your Face
In Praise of Red-Headed Girls
Fear Itself
Men and Their Automobiles
It's All About Me!
Moments of Memories
The Customer is Always Wrong
Never Too Old To Hurt


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or write Ye Editor at bethjacks@hotmail.com.

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